Auriel Reel
Graphic Design

I have a thing that a lot of people want, but they do not want the responsibility of having it 24/7. When you see me, you will understand that I was born a criminal. I was born to make babies and keep my mouth shut. I was born to be target practice for the police while still expected to keep my mouth shut. I was born a woman, and a black woman at that. I can easily conceal my womanly features, but I can’t say the same for my skin. If I was a white woman in the south, there would only be one fight to fight—the fight for gender equality. However, due to intersectional identity, I bear the burden of fighting for gender and racial equality.

As I grew up, I started to realize that the same culture I used to idolize is the same culture that now idolizes me, yet still condemns me. The thing they desire the most is something that I have. This thing has been the reason African Americans have been enslaved, beaten, raped, and lynched for centuries, and still to the present day. However, it is the same thing that has influenced our culture in the creation of our music, our cooking, our style. This thing is why we are able to adapt to many different environments, no matter the intensity.

They want this thing.
They hate this thing.
I have this thing.
This thing is melanin.